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Should you be tested for Alzheimer’s?

In many cases, families seek expert counseling when they suspect that a loved one might need Alzheimer’s care. But it is not necessary to wait for others to bring up the subject. You know yourself well, and you can probably identify new challenges you may be experiencing. Consider talking to your family doctor about these issues.

Why get tested?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, ten warning signs typically warrant a discussion with your doctor. Their website covers these signs in detail and can help you distinguish between them and typical age-related changes. You can find this information here:

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • New Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality.

If there is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, why should I get tested?

It’s understandable to feel anxiety about memory changes and decide that you’d rather not know if something is seriously wrong. But there might be other, more treatable reasons you’re experiencing memory problems, and your doctor could address those reasons.

There are also practical reasons to get tested. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, patients report that they are glad to know their diagnosis as soon as possible for the following reasons:

  • Access to early-stage treatment options that can reduce or slow the decline. With early detection and treatment, you may preserve your independence for a bit longer.
  • An opportunity to participate in clinical trials, which could lead to better control of your condition.
  • A chance to prioritize your health and get other conditions under control. Many people with Alzheimer’s have other health conditions which can complicate their treatment.
  • To lessen your anxiety. Not knowing what’s at the root of your problems can only increase your stress level.
  • To allow you to do things you’ve always wanted to do. Some spouses of Alzheimer’s patients say that an earlier diagnosis would have allowed them to fulfill some lifelong dreams together before it was too late.
  • Cost savings. An early diagnosis can save your family a significant amount of money on medical bills and long-term care.
  • To have more time to plan what you want in terms of care and give you a chance to participate in legal and financial decisions. You would be able to choose your caregivers and make decisions about your future. Doing this could help prevent disagreement within your family and ease the burden on your caregivers.

Talking to your doctor about Alzheimer’s and getting diagnosed early also gives you some much-needed time to plan your future Alzheimer’s care. If given a choice, most people would probably prefer to select their memory care location. But by the time memory care is needed, people with Alzheimer’s may be unable to make this choice. By getting diagnosed early, you can ensure that your wishes will be respected.

Avalon Memory Care provides compassionate, dignified bedside care for people with Alzheimer’s in Arlington, Irving, and Houston. To discuss your future care needs, call us at (972) 713-1383.

 

Resources

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/diagnosis/why-get-checked

By |2021-11-29T10:01:16-06:00November 29th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments